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[32] But I return to myself. I am in my eighty-fourth year and would that I myself could boast as Cyrus did; but still I can say this much: that while I am not now, indeed, possessed of that physical strength which I had as a private soldier in the Punic War, or as a quaestor in the same war, or as commander-in-chief in Spain, or when as military tribune four years later I fought the war out at Thermopylae under the command of Manius Acilius Glabrio;1 yet, as you see, old age has not quite unnerved or shattered me. The senate and the popular assembly never find my vigour wanting, nor do my friends, my dependents, or my guests; for I have never assented to that ancient and much quoted proverb, which advises: “Become old early if you would be old long.” For my part I would rather not be old so long than be old before my time. Accordingly, I have so far never refused an audience to anyone who wished to consult me.

1 For these events in Cato's life and their dates see Introduction.

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load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
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